Friday, 25 April 2008

Road Rage and Ramparts Rage

My fantasy novels are set in an alternative Middle Ages, so I research the actual period for background detail. I'm currently reading The Medieval Castle by Philip Warner, who has a lively writing style and a first-hand knowledge of battle, having fought all through WWII.
He describes the feeling of superiority engendered by looking down, from a castle or a horse, on the enemy. Castle defenders would jeer at and goad the besiegers. Emotions ran so high that when castles fell, the victors often 'massacred the garrison with ill-tempered thoroughness'.
Also, "it has been said that this blend of arrogance, quick temper, risk-taking and irrationality is a thing of the past."
I knew what he was going to say next. Here it is:
"Curiously enough, the automobile has created its own species of knights. Lulled into a false sense of security by the armour around him, flattered by the speed which he controls with a touch of the foot, arrogant towards those with inferior mounts or with no mounts at all, the modern motorist will display chivalry towards an attractive woman, pay grudging deference to the owner of a vehicle which is clearly superior, but otherwise behave with stupid over-competitive hostility to every other road-user.

The clearest conviction of the modern motorist is that every other driver is in the wrong; he is driving too fast, too slowly, too timidly or too aggressively. Even the carnage of the multiple accident leaves him relatively unmoved; the massacre of a few peasants had much the same effect on a feudal baron's emotions."


  1. Thanks, Nik - and thank you for tagging me. I'm thinking about it...

  2. Yes, but what about ?

  3. Which one, Norm?

    Mani and his father must survive on their own after being abandoned by a coyote in the middle of the desert?

    A human recreation of snakes?


  4. Rampart Rage

    It's the Monty Python and the Holy Grail's "French Taunting from the Ramparts."

  5. Oh I did enjoy that, Norm. Made me want to watch the whole film.

    Spot on the topic, too.

    (How did you put a link in your comment?)